National Mission on Agricultural Mechanization
“With the successful implementation of the MGNREGS and other anti-poverty programmes, there is now pressure on the availability of farm labour,” Mr. Sharad Pawar
Despite the fluctuations of monsoon, the agriculture sector achieved a growth rate of 3.2% during the current year and is set to record the 4% growth targeted for the next five year Plan period (2012-13 to 2016-17).
Food grains production in 2011-12 crop year would surpass the previous year’s record of 241.56 million tonnes that included the highest ever output in wheat, pulses, oilseeds and cotton. There were expectations of expansion of the crop area this year and higher Rabi output. Kharif paddy production was also slated to be a record.
Government is attempting to innovatively utilize the MGNREGS for supplement activities that will directly add to farm productivity and for compensating scarcity of labour, hence there arises a need for mechanization
Machinery & Technology Division (M&T), Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India is launching a National Mission on Agricultural Mechansiation (NMAM) during 12th Plan. Initially the plan panel committee has sought an amount of Rs.20,000 Crore in 12th Five Year Plan towards this project. The current estimates of the proposed outlay envisaged for implementation of this Mission range between Rs 3500 crore (Draft Plan Annexure-A) to Rs.6,000 Crore (recently revised proposal).
The Mission has identified following 7 programmes for implementation during the 12th plan
- Promotion and Strengthening of Agricultural Mechanization through Training, Testing and Demonstration.
- Post-harvest Technology and Management (PHTM).
- Financial Assistance or Procurement Subsidy for Agriculture Machinery and Equipment.
- Establishment of Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring.
- Establishing Hi-Tech, High Productive Equipment Centers.
- Enhancing Farm Productivity at village level by introducing appropriate farm mechanization in selected villages.
- Creating ownership of appropriate farm equipment among Small/Marginal farmers in eastern/north eastern region
Programme 1 & 2 are continuation of the ongoing 11th 5 Year plan scheme & would be implemented by DOAC (Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India).
The other 5 programmes are to be implemented by involving farmers, SHGs, user groups, co-operative societies of farmers, individual entrepreneurs, etc. as per details given below.
Programme-3: Financial Assistance or Procurement subsidy for Agriculture Machinery and Equipment
- During 11th Plan, financial assistance under the scheme: Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA), is extended to 13 categories of agriculture equipment and machinery for effecting promotion of agricultural mechanization to users especially among small and marginal farmers.
- With proposed phasing out of MMA in 12th Plan, the existing component of the scheme, which are found to be popular nationwide, may be re-introduced under this mission.
- Besides, National Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (NMAM) proposed to include additional interventions that are already identified under the Mission document on National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
Programme-4: Establishment of Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring
- NMSA envisaged setting up of 1000 such Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring.
- This component of NAAM would provide suitable financial assistance for establishing ‘Custom Hiring Centers for agriculture machinery and implements for operation through Individuals, Self Help Group (SGH) or farmers’ cooperatives formed preferably at Block level.
- Such groups would take representatives from small and marginal farmers and the Block level administration would facilitate to form such Self Help Groups.
- Beside, providing procurement subsidy, NMAM also proposes to create Credit Guarantee Fund and Venture Capital Fund for encouraging entrepreneurs to take up operating custom hiring centres as profession.
Programme-5: Establishing Hi-Tech, High Productive Equipment Centers
- Whereas, farm mechanization in general plays a vital role for enhancing agricultural production and productivity, however, the need for Hi-Tech and High Productive Equipment such as Sugarcane Harvester, Combine Harvester(wheel or track type), Cotton picker, Laser Land Leveler, front loader, back hoe, etc. can further boost agriculture productivity in near future.
- However, the prohibitive cost of equipment renders it difficult for individual ownership.
- Therefore, NMSA has envisaged setting up of 100 such centers specifically targeting low productive belt of eastern and central India during 12th Plan where funds would be provided for purchase of such costly Hi Tech and High productive equipment.
Programme-6: Enhancing Farm Productivity at village level by introducing appropriate farm Mechanization in selected villages
- It is often noticed that specific mechanization issues arise based on variations in cropping system viz. Rice-Wheat, Rice-Rice, Rice Pulses, Pearl Millet-Wheat, Maize-Wheat etc., condition of natural resources and availability of rainfall.
- Thus, it calls for intensive and appropriate farm mechanization practices that are customized at village level.
- Accordingly, NMSA has formulated an action plan for introducing appropriate farm mechanization practices in 100,000 villages of low productive eastern and central India during XII plan.
Programme-7: Creating ownership of appropriate farm equipment among Small/Marginal Farmers in Eastern/North Eastern Region
- NMSA has envisaged a special provision for extending input subsidy to small and marginal farmers through co-operatives in high-potential eastern region of India.
- About 5000 farmers would be benefited during 12th Plan under this component of the mission.
- It is also proposed to increase subsidy on tractors and combines during XII plan as per details given below.
- Tractors upto 25 hp (PTO) – 50 % of Procurement Cost (Max Amount Rs.1.25 lakh)
- Tractors above 25 hp (PTO) – 50 % of Procurement Cost (Max Amount Rs.2.0 lakh)
- Combine Harvesters – 50 % of Procurement Cost (Max Amount Rs.5.0 lakh)
Recent news reports suggest that proposed 2012-17 Mission Agriculture plan is modeled on the Madhya Pradesh Govt’s Yantradoot Programme
- Yantradoot villages scheme : Madhya Pradesh
- To increase the productivity through improved Agriculture Technologies in nutrient-cereals in 60 identified blocks of 10 districts.
- 1000 Model Village (3 villages per block) selected as to demonstrate comprehensive production enhancing agriculture practices through integrated approach by convergence of all schemes
- Self-sufficiency in soybean wheat and mustard seed production through Seed producing cooperative Societies. SRR in soybean, wheat and mustard increased to 23.88, 27.10 and 29.97 respectively (2010).
- Provision of 30% Top-up subsidy for drip, rain-gun and sprinkler systems
- Conducting the demonstration on farmer’s field to access adoptability of implement such as straw reaper, reaper cum binder, Rotavator, laser-land leveler and low lift pump seed cum fertilizer drill with ridge and furrow system.
- To emphasize the effect of farm mechanization, 50 ‘Yantradoot Villages’ in all 50 districts have been identified.
- Focused ‘Front Line Demonstration’ of various implements for soil preparation, sowing, seed treatment, inter culture are conducted in these villages.
- Remarkable increase in productivity was found, which even gone up to 50%.
- Farm Mechanization in India (bhuwanchand.wordpress.com)
- Corporate firms venture into paddy cultivation (thehindu.com)